Likhts’amisyu Chief Dsta’hyl arrested by Canadian police for upholding Wet’suwet’en law in opposition to Coastal GasLink pipeline

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Photo by Michael Toledano.

On October 27, Michael Toledano tweeted: “Chief Dsta’hyl of @Likhtsamisyu has been arrested & removed from his land, along with Kolin Sutherland-Wilson of the Gitxsan fireweed clan & at least one other person. Cops were deployed from all over northern BC for this. Fire blocked the road as prisoners were moved out.”

The Likhts’amisyu are one of the five clans of the Wet’suwet’en Nation that spans 22,000 square kilometres of territory in British Columbia (BC).

All five clans of the Wet’suwet’en have unanimously opposed all pipeline proposals and have not provided free, prior and informed consent to the construction of the TC Energy Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline on Wet’suwet’en lands.

At 11:41 pm yesterday evening, the Likhts’amisyu (Fireweed) Clan tweeted a short video noting: “It looks like an arrested just got to the Houston Detachment.”

There is also now this update:

The 18-member United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has previously stated:

Concerned by the approval of new large-scale development projects on indigenous peoples traditional lands and territories without the free, prior and informed consent of affected indigenous peoples, such as the Coastal Gas Link pipeline in the territory of the Wet’suwet’en people;

Calls upon the State party to immediately halt the construction and suspend all permits and approvals for the construction of the Coastal Gas Link pipeline in the traditional and unceded lands and territories of the Wet’suwet’en people, until they grant their free, prior and informed consent, following the full and adequate discharge of the duty to consult;

Urges the State party to guarantee that no force will be used against Secwepemc and Wet’suwet’en peoples and that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and associated security and policing services will be withdrawn from their traditional lands.

This Committee is a body of experts that monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by its State parties. Canada ratified this United Nations Convention more than 50 years ago on October 14, 1970.

Canada’s report on its compliance with this Convention is due on November 15, just a little over two weeks from now.

In this video update following the arrests, Sleydo’ of the Gidimt’en Clan of the Wet’suwet’en stated: “We need everybody to get your boots on the ground. Please come to camp. We need support for Likhts’amisyu and the Wet’suwet’en struggle.”

Responding to this call, Brent Patterson of Peace Brigades International-Canada will be present on Wet’suwet’en territory in November to observe this land defence struggle, document and report on human rights violations, and help amplify Wet’suwet’en concerns to the international community, including to Mary Lawlor, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

For updates on this situation, please follow Gidimt’en Checkpoint and Likhts’amisyu (Fireweed) Clan on Twitter.

The formal call to “come to camp” from Gidimt’en Yintah Access is here.

For more on why World Beyond War is supporting their Canada Organizer Rachel Small to spend part of November at the Gidimt’en camp, please see Rachel’s article: Why I’m Going to the Frontlines of the Wet’suwet’en Resistance.

February 2020 map when the RCMP had set up an exclusion zone just prior to the arrest of 22 Wet’suwet’en land defenders.

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